Dickey's Decor

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

BBQ Dedication

I am a big fan of  pulled pork. I admit it was one f of those things I am kind of known for. Yep, mine is that good. Good pulled pork takes dedication. It isn't hard, but it takes time. The great thing about a Traeger is you can't really ruin anything. My Traeger makes me the chef I am.

I used some pork roasts this time around. These were rubbed and sat in the fridge until the magic hour. I used a throwaway pan because later I would use the same one to pull the pork in and serve it. When I enterain the easier the better.

This was the magic hour. This is a.m. As in the middle of the night.

Smoking in the middle of the night. I had a picture of my trusty Traeger at 3:00 in the morning, but since it was so dark it didn't turn out well.

Here it is shredded.

We doctored this up with Sweet Baby Rae's BBQ sauce. It is our favorite. My husband's aunt was here from Arizona. We had a big dinner of pulled pork, beans, coleslaw (I am good at this one too), corn and more. The good news is we had plenty left over for BBQ pork pizza later in the week (of course it was also cooked on my Traeger). Darn now I am hungry.

Beachy Desk Part Deux

Back in March I painted a great desk that sold super fast. I vowed if I ever found one like it I would snatch it up. One night I was wasting time on Craigslist and spotted this.

Perfect size and it needed no work (except paint of course). I posted a picture on Facebook and asked if anyone was interested. Three people responded within a few hours. First come, first get in my book. My lovely friend Emma wanted a desk for her daughter,Dahlia who just began Kindergarten. I decided to make this a twin of the one I sold in March.

I ended up repainting the area where the D was and doing a different style D. My paint smeared a little when I put the poly on so I had to fix it.

Dahlia and Emma loved it. Since they are friends I got to stick around and see her use it. I love this color, Watery by Sherwin Williams. Opps. That reminds me they have paint on sale for 40% off through tomorrow. I better get to getting.


Autumn Mantle For Less

 From now until after Christmas my house will be decorated for the holidays. This is the precursor for the next few months. While this isn't a great picture, I think it looks straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog. The cost was around $27. Now that is something to celebrate.

The overall look...opps the pillow is the wrong way. Drexler! Yes I have a television inside my fireplace. I don't like to lose the mantle to a TV so this is the compromise.
I bought this great platter for $1.49 at a Salvation Army sale. Pottery Barn has a similar one for $54. The leaf garland is super nice. The leaves are velvet. $50 regularly. $3 on clearance this summer at a secret sale I attended.

I found this wine jug at Camas Antiques for $14. The yarn balls were on clearance after Christmas at Wal-Mart for .30 each.
I can't remember where I picked up the deer antler candle holders. I know I didn't pay much for them. The birch candles were a Salvation Army find. The wheat came from a fancy schmancy store nearby that has a yearly sale. This was $28 regularly and I paid $3.


Bethany Lowe Inspired Halloween House

My friends know Halloween has become my favorite holiday to decorate for. I have six seven "fall" boxes. One is autumn only, four are Halloween only and two are Thanksgiving. Right now I have the autumn decorations up. On October 1st Halloween will be alive and well in the Dickey house. I am trying my hardest to stick to my decorating dates, but a trip to the Troutdale General Store yesterday made it even more difficult. I literally drooled over the selection of Halloween gear they had out. Really awesome expensive stuff. Bethany Lowe heaven. I adore this lady and her artists. I abhor her prices. I get they are artists, but as a teacher I can't afford a lot of art (unless it is the free kind my students make me).

Last weekend Delia and I went to an estate sale on Sunday. I had been the day before and had come back after stuff went to half off hoping this lovely turkey platter would still be there. No such luck. There was a lot of doll stuff and Delia was able to pick up some neat furniture for her Barbies. I almost walked out empty handed, but then spotted a shelf full of wooden houses and structures. I started to think and decided for $1.50 I could buy a few and find something to do with them. I am kicking myself now...I should have bought them all.

After the inspiration of Bethany I got started. I painted the entire house black and orange (it could have been an Oregon State Beaver house too). I then embellished with Martha's glitter. Love that stuff. Next, I added images off of  The Graphics Fairy to the windows (popped them out first). These ladies were in he category of Women and entitled Gypsy Ladies I believe.I added some other embellishments as well. Finally, I drilled a hole in the bottom and stuffed the lights into the house.

It is to get a good picture of this baby when it is lit up (with my photography skills).



 I love my little house and may have to make a neighbor for it

Copy Cat Pumpkin

About a month ago I was at my friend Carrie's house. Sitting on the counter were three amazing velvet pumpkins.  Her husband had found them at a shop while they were on vacation. He bought them. She thought it was funny because he usually could care less about that kind of stuff. I could see why he bought them they were lovely; the price however wasn't.
After looking them over I told her we could make them. This week we finally got together to try it.

 I had been to two other stores to find autumnal shades of velvet with no luck. Guess it was time to go to Fabric Depot. I am lucky to live close to one of the best fabric stores in the US. No, seriously they bus people down from Canada (seven hours away) to shop here. The day I went in happened to be one of their rare 35% off days. SCORE! (On a side note I had an epiphany that the customers at the fabric store were getting younger and hipper OR I was getting older and less cool. #Portlandhipsters)

I had tried my at one prior to Carrie and her daughter Ashley coming over. It worked out okay, but she had heard using a square would make the top more "scrunchy". She was right.

Pre rice stuffing.

Finished product. The original ones had real stems. We used twigs for some, but I took the stems off some of my acorn squash for a few. I might get in trouble for "stealing" stems off of gourds at the store this fall. Will you bail me out?

Steps...(I admit to teaching for a living, but I don't do tutorials well).

1. Cut out a velvet square.
2. Use a loose stitch around the edges. It
 is important to double, or triple, your thread. I suggest using a heavy duty thread.
3. Stuff pumpkin with rice drawing up the thread as you go. We used a funnel thanks to the common sense of my lovely seven-year-old's logic.
4. Tie string tightly. Be careful not to break it.
5. Hot glue stem and leaves.

On The Side Of The Road

My mom had  been with me a half an hour before my cell phone rang. "Leah you have to go up to Corbett to get this china hutch on the side of the road. It is free." My heart started racing. What? Where? A million questions pop into my mind. I was just leaving the baseball field (of course) and was in my trusty Volvo. Chris and Drex were still at the field. I raced up the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway and followed my mom's cryptic directions.
There sitting on the side of the road at the bottom of a gravel drive was a large china hutch. It was worn, but sturdy. All but one of the glass doors was intact.

Delia and I waited for twenty minutes for the boys and the truck to arrive. I am sure we looked strange sitting on the of a road with a peice of furniture. Once they got there we quickly loaded it up and headed home. This baby was heavy and big. We sat her in front of the garage (thank goodness for large overhangs) and she hung out there all summer long. My neighbors love our furniture store.

I could not figure out what to do with her. I really liked her and wanted her to be special. I envisioned her in red. I imagined her Ralph Lauren mettalic blue. Off white? Shades of grey? I posted her on Facebook for some advice. One of my friends from elementary school (gotta love Facebook) suggested black. The thought never crossed my mind. Several people chimed in and aggreed.

Not quite finished

This Facebook post also brought me a sale. A friend from high school just moved into a new house and loved this lady in her distressed state. She thought the black idea was fabu. I took her measurements and Eryn decided she had to have this lady.

Here she is ready to go:

The metal on the windows as a different element....

I sometimes wonder how much to charge. This is something I struggle with. Now you all know I got this one for free. However, I had to replace the light and one pane of glass. Those things cost money and take time to deal with. I had to sand her. I had to clean her. I had to paint her. I had to touch her up. In the end, Eryn is paying for my time. I guess that is why they say. Time is money.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

School Rules & Giveaway

School started Tuesday. Depression hit our house on Monday night around 6:00. While we love teaching, and were looking forward to getting back to the routine, we were also sad to see summer slip away. Instead of dwelling on the inevitable I decided to do a little craftying.

I found this project on Pintrest. My inspiration was this ditty:

From polkadotchair.com.

Believe it or not wooden rulers are not all that easy to find. My sister (who is also a teacher) happened to have a stockpile and gave me twenty or so. I adapted this wreath a bit. Instead of using a wooden hoop like she did I used my green wire frame:

I have these for sale on my Etsy site for $1.50.  They were difficult to find at my local craft stores. I finally went to a wholesaler and bought a TON.
I used my circular saw to cut the rulers. Let me tell you sawing rulers is EASY since I always knew exactly where my cut should be. No measuring! I decided to go with varying lengths just to be different.

The back is UGLY, but hey who sees it? My maiden name was Altig and apparently my sister bought these rulers before she was married.

After hot gluing the rulers down I was ready to embellish:

 I love the way it turned out. I think the black and cream look lovely on my red door. I even found a ribbon I bought that looks like a tape measurer. How perfect is that?

Giveaway! If you leave a comment below one winner will receive two fancy green wreath frames so they can make their own wreath. The winner will be drawn at random.

I also changed out the window from my "French Summer" motif to a "Back to School" vignette. The clock is from a local elementary school and still has the bell schedule written on a sheet of paper inside. My husband's grandmother gave it to me. If I was nice I would donate it back to the school...I'm not nice. I made the banner last year. It is hard to photograph, but it says, "Go Dickeys!" I think we might need the pom poms and bullhorn to get us moving.

I found this type writer at a garage sale for $10. It worked for a few weeks, but alas my kids have messed with it. Do you think I can find someone to fix it?


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sometimes Easier Isn't Better

I just found this in my drafts. I wrote it WAY back at the beginning of the summer and never got around to taking pictures. I guess I should just post it at this point. ENJOY.

I love my deck. I hate my deck.
When we bought our house the deck was 3/4" plywood painted with white marine paint with astro turf glued on top. I was positive when we had the house inspection they would say the deck had to be removed and replaced. No such luck. In fact, there was a 4" spot where it had dry rot, but the rest of the wood was in really good shape. In fact, we kept it to use for other projects.
The cherry on top of the deck was the rails. They were rebar placed horizontally with the first rung 12" from the deck surface. They were so dangerous the first summer we lived in the house we basically didn't use it.
The next spring we hired a contractor to build a new one. I started out the right way having three bids done. In the end we went with the cheapest bid. Big mistake. The guy ended up not finishing the deck and bilking us out of about $600. We were lucky it wasn't more and we learned some valuable lessons. In the end my brother-in-law and  friend built the deck using some of the old framing and new cedar.
If I had money we would have used Trex, but guess what? I didn't have it then and I still don't have it.
The  deck is awesome. It is large enough to hold a table that seats six comfortably  (ten when we sit really close). It also holds a love seat two comfy chairs, the Traeger, a "buffet", planters and a little cooking station. It is a great place to enjoy dinner in the summer. I am happy with our choice in black metal railings and the natural color. However, I HATE maintaining the deck. It is not fun.
Did not seal it the first year because I wanted it to weather to a lovely silver grey. The next summer I sealed it. After that I got lazy. I would spend some time cleaning it and would then use those spray on deck cleaners and sealers. I bet some people out there swear by these. What is not to like? They attach to your hose and you spray. Easy right? Well folks sometimes ease doesn't make a job well done.
Last year I never got around to really cleaning the deck or sealing it. This winter it was U.G.L.Y.  The boards turned almost black and we even had some moss growing on it. Not the cool moss, but the nasty kind. The build up was also dangerous and it became slick.
I debated on doing my usual spray deck cleaner, but decided it was so bad I had to bring out the big guns. I thought about getting out my belt sander and sanding the entire deck, but the thought made me cringe. I finally broke down and used the pressure washer. Most deck experts will tell you not to use a pressure washer on wooden decks. It can break down the wood and actually dent it. I have never cleaned it with a pressure washer, but decided to do it this year. I figure if I pressure wash it ever five years it won't be the end of the world.
Step One- It took me about two hours to pressure wash the deck. After dinner one night I fired it up and got at it. I love pressure washing, but I hate it (see a theme here?). It cleans things so well, but in the process it makes a mess. How is that for an oxymoron? After this step I let the deck dry for a few days.
Step Two- A few days later I busted out my Thompson's Water Sealer. I had thought about going with a high end product, but A. I didn't have an extra $150 laying around and B. I figured if I had to do this every year this product would do the trick. I decided to use a brush for this step. The can says you can spray it with one of those stain sprayers, but I make a mess with these. The guy at Home Depot said you could roll it too. These methods work, but sometimes you just have to get on your hands and knees and do it the hard way. I used a large stain brush I found in the middle of the road. Yep, one day we were driving along and I spotted a brush. I made my husband pull over and I jumped out and grabbed it. It is an awesome brush and it has found a good home.
For the next couple of hours I sat on by behind and did a small area at a time. I did a portion on Friday night while listening to some tunes and then got back at it Saturday morning. One of my favorite summer brews helped make the job easier. I used two cans of Thompson's and ran out just after I finished the top part of the railing. I also ran out of time so it was all good. Added bonus was a tan!
Step Three- After a day of drying I reassembled the deck and decorated it. This is my favorite part. The day after the deck was "complete" it began to rain again. The water beaded up just like it was supposed to.

I still need to finish the outside skirting on the deck and my stairs. I am going to go with a different product for the stairs. I know I have seen a product that has some kind of grit in it. I figure this will be good for traction especially in our rainy Oregon winters.

Overall this project took about eight hours. I know I could have shaved some time off using those easy-to-use products, but sometimes I think doing it the old fashioned way is best. I am pleased with my results and happy I won't have to do this again for at least another year (or two).